Saturday, September 27, 2008

I love musicians

It's my last night in Juneau and I've been here since Thursday night. I was here for a director's meeting. It was great. Last night I met everyone and we broke up into groups and listened to audition tapes. I went with two other directors to listen to low brass. They were strangely excited to have a tuba player. It was fun. I'm not sure that listening to a whole bunch of audition tapes was really that fun but it's always fun when you get 2 or more musicians together. After we were done with low brass, I went to go help with percussion tapes. That was definitely more painful to listen to than the low brass, but there were some good players. Once again it was amusing to hang out with a group of musicians. Finally at about 11 PM we were basically done and called it a night. I walked back to my hotel, since I'm not staying at the same hotel as everyone else. I think I finally got to bed at about 11:30. This morning we met again to put together music and such. That took longer than it probably should have but musicians run on their own time. We went to a brand new high school here in Juneau and did what we needed to do there. We got everything sorted out and parts copied and were finally done with that. We then went back to the hotel and discussed some of the upcoming events, updated the contact lists, and ate lunch. After the meeting we all took a break before meeting for dinner. Two of the other new teachers, myself, and one of the Juneau band directors went out and toured the area. Brian, one of the Juneau directors, took us in his truck to go see some sights. We went out to Mendenhall Glacier. It was really cool to see. We looked for bears and mountain goats. We saw several mountain goats, but sadly no bear. The glacier is amazing, maybe I think it's so cool because I've never seen one and I'm from Illinois. He then drove us around downtown and most of the areas in Juneau. It was really cool.
At about 6:30 PM we all met to go out for dinner. Can you imagine 13 music directors in one small space. Well if you can't then I'll try to describe it for you. It's pretty unique. Most people know that musicians are unique individuals. (I really hope that's not a surprise for anyone). If you get any amount of them together I can just about guarantee two things, there will be alcohol and it'll be fun, or at least amusing. So we all went out to a restaurant and sat at several table pushed together. There was alcohol had by many, I promise not me. It was John's birthday, he's the director in Sitka, I believe. There was plenty of good food and good, but at times strange, conversation. We also sang happy birthday to John, twice actually. Once on our own and once when the wait staff brought out a piece of cheesecake with a candle in it for him. There were some pretty nice harmonies, even when we weren't really trying. We finally all got back in the vehicles we came in and drove to our respective places. I rode with Brian and Josh, who teaches in Craig. That was such a funny ride. To start off we had parked in an area with a low clearance and Brian drives a truck. Then, because I haven't had a lot of seafood, Brian brought out some smoked Sockeye Salmon for me to try. I have to say it's some good stuff, it's currently sitting next to me as I type. It reminds me of some taste I've had before, but I can't quite place it. Then the three of us got on some strange discussion about canning and pickling corn. Now I've only ever made corn relish, that's as close to pickling corn as I've come. But this seemed to be a constant running gag, mostly by Josh. We did have some good conversation though. We dropped of Josh at the hotel that everyone but me was staying at and Brian was nice enough to give me a ride back to my hotel. He then asked me a question that I figured at somepoint would come up. Why in the world Metlakatla. I gave him my whole job search story explained how I got the job. We talked about some school things and I showed him a couple pictures of what my classroom looked like before my weeks of cleaning and a couple pictures of the island. He gave me some good advice and it'll be fun to get back together with all the directors in about a month for honors fest.
I now sit here and think about the fact that I'm getting up at about 4:45 AM so that I can finish getting everything ready and get to there airport for my 7 AM flight. It's been a nice weekend and I'm looking forward to the next meeting.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Hi - I don't think you know me, but I teach hs band in Antioch, IL. Bob Buetel let me know of your blog and I got hooked! Hearing your stories makes my problems (instrumentation, outdated music, purchase orders, living in a small town) seem small in comparison. I also love Alaska - but as a place to visit, not live (wouldn't want that much rain). I've been there the last two summers with my cousin who lives in Sitka (another southeasterner). I love salmon, halibut, caribou, and most of the other Alaskan fare. I look forward to hearing more of your stories! I'm Pat Hayes by the way...